London is a great city with classic architecture. It doesn't matter how many times I go into the city i still have the same reaction. I stand there slack-jawed looking at the buildings and bridges and people. There is tons to do.
One of my favorite buildings in London is St Pancras Station. Opened in 1868 it is a sight to behold. It is the first thing you see when you get off the train at neighboring Kings Cross Station. Kings Cross has been newly remodeled and is a bit impressive itself. However, for me, St Pancras is gorgeous.
When I come into London, seeing St Pancras against the London sky means I've landed. I am in London. It is by no means the only cool thing to see in London but it is something you shouldn't miss if you're ever in town.
Here's my minimalist representation of the station.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - Couldn't have said it better.
We should remember these things. I am very happy to celebrate Independence Day today.
... "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
How many of us are willing to pledge our lives our fortunes and sacred honor. These guys were giving up everything they knew to make something new - something better. What are we willing to sacrifice to make things better for our community, our state or our country?
Today I will gnaw on that question and try to find ways to make things better for now and into the future. We should all think about how we can make things better.
We celebrate these kinds of things so that we remember. Let's remember that we owe it to generations to come to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This should not just be a military or political oath (which it is) but it should be the mantra by which we live our days.
Everybody has personal stuff going on. But remember what made this country what it is. People willing to give it all up for an idea that would make things better for everybody.
Nothing says Arizona like a big ole Saguaro Cactus. Their technical name is Carnegiea gigantea and they are gigantea! These monsters can be 40-60 feet tall and have over 25 arms. It is what I equate most with the desert in Arizona.
I did a lot of driving back and forth between the Phoenix area and Prescott Arizona during the month of June. When you drive from the desert surrounding the Phoenix area to the mile-high city of Prescott you can see the Saguaro disappear as you climb. It is a very pretty drive.
When I lived in the Phoenix area a couple of years ago we had a Saguaro in the back yard. Though they can get quite tall the root system on this plant is quite shallow - only a couple of feet. The roots grow more horizontally than vertically. This helps it cover more area horizontally find water. Though quite shallow the wide root system at it's base helps keep it stable.
You will often see newly planted Saguaro artificially propped up on all sides for several years until the plant can extend it's root system wide enough to ground it.
One day we were watching television during a bit of a monsoon rain storm. The 25 foot cactus in our back yard started swaying back and forth with the wind. Finally, the ground got so sopping wet the roots were loosened and the spire came crashing down. That poor cactus had had it. It was broken, battered and bruised. It was not a very happy camper. The injured carcass had to be disassembled with a chainsaw and carried away one chunk at at time.
I won't soon forget that cactus.
I do like the way they look in the landscape. The older cactus are gnarled and twisted and can provide a home to several desert creatures. When you come across a cactus that has been dead for a while the woody skeletal structure of this giant gets exposed. The plants are really quite fascinating.
This cactus makes an entrance in my blog today because, well, I drew it. have a great day.
On July 1, 2017 Canada celebrates 250 years as a nation. I've been reading a bit about it and that is the easiest way to explain it. As with everything political there are differing opinions about exactly what it is and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Basically, Canada Day is a celebration of being Canadian.
I learned the word "sesquicentennial" this year which is celebrating 150 years of something. I think I had heard the term before but this is the first time it really sunk in to my brain-housing-group.
I was born in Montreal and lived there for the centennial which is celebrating 100 years of something. That was in 1967. It was the year of the Expo in Montreal. I still have the license plate of the car that took us to California in November of that year. I guess you could say that we celebrated the centennial by leaving Canada.
Though the celebration has been going on for some time I paid it little attention. So what has modified my thinking. First, recently we had a family reunion at my brother's house in Maine. Just over 70 Attenboroughs came to that celebration (no year attached). Except for a couple of folks, I think they were all Canadian. Second, just got my brand spanking new Canadian passport. I suppose I am reconnecting with my Canadian-ness a little bit.
July 1st is Canada Day and in a couple of days it will be the fourth of July (Independence Day). I am very glad to be a part of the history of both countries. I celebrate my Canadian relatives and my American relatives. I also celebrate my Canadian-ness and my American-ness. I just like it that way.
Glad to be a part of it all.